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PS3 Review – NFL Head Coach 09


Is It Worth It This Time Around?


If anyone remembers NFL Head Coach on the PS2 they will remember how bad it was. The series has such a good premise, but it always seems to come out flawed. So EA Sports decided to give this series one more game to add to it’s short list. Question is did they improve it overall? Well in short the answer is yes, but before you rush out and buy the game you might want to realize it wasn’t by much. So here it is, the review for NFL Head Coach 09 (I suppose the yearly number means they will start making them every year). First I will tell you what I liked, then disliked, and finally follow up with whether you should buy/rent/or stay away from this title. This review is short just to warn most of you all. The game is straight forward. You basically manage every tedious aspect that you could imagine of your team.

What I Liked:

  • Very detailed—this game is as detailed as you could imagine. So detailed in fact that it can bother you at times. It can be overwhelming if you’re not paying attention. But I suppose it makes you feel like a real head coach. Drafting, free agents, contract extensions, resignations, trades, practices, etc. are all done and managed by you.
  • Tutorials—this may seem stupid, but I was lost when I first fired up the game. There was so much to do and I had no clue where to start. The quick tutorials guided me through it though.
  • A lot different than the first Head Coach—This is a very good thing. To say the first game was bad is an understatement. They got rid of a lot of the things that were wrong in the first Head Coach. But the problem with that is new things that are wrong arose. But in the end this game is way better than the first entry into the series.
  • Free Agency—This is actually quite entertaining when playing, and it’s also really realistic. You basically have a bidding war with the player you are trying to acquire for your team. If it gets too high in price all you have to do is pull out of the bid.
  • Screen at the bottom left—There is a little screen at the bottom that has people from the NFL Network pop up and tell you the daily news and happenings around the NFL.
  • Speed adjustment—This game can be slow, and when I say slow, I mean slow. If they didn’t have the speed adjustment setting I don’t think I could play this game at all. But with the setting you can speed through to the next available task for your team.
  • Draft—I absolutely love the draft. I love building a team with prospects you are unsure of. I love the planning, the scouting, etc. It’s just fun to me. During the draft it tells a brief history of the current team that is on the board. It’s an interactive experience that is fun for people that like to build teams. Even in the draft there are constant trade offers and everything that you could imagine.
  • Differing personalities in players—Just like in real life rather than have the same generic players there are various personalities among your players. You have to take different routes when talking to different players.

What I Disliked:

  • Contract negotiations—They are all almost the same. You can always go one above the package the player wants and almost always get the player to sign. I think it should be more interactive and allow more options and compromise.
  • Graphics—I am by no means a graphics whore, but this game almost looks like PS2 graphics. There is no reason they should be that bad. Look at how much content a game like Madden has. This game is almost like a stripped down Madden without control given to the player, and more franchise options.
  • This it?—You basically have to be in the mood to play this game, and the right person as well. I love football and every aspect of it. If I’m getting bored with it there is something seriously wrong here. It can get so boring at times, but at the same time when I am in the mood I can lose hours in this game. So it is kind of a love/hate relationship.
  • Announcer in menu—Man this guy can get annoying. He says the same things over and over at times.


Buy/Rent/Stay Away:

This game has several problems. Period. It is leaps and bounds better than the first one, but that isn’t saying much. As I stated before, it is like a stripped down Madden with no control (yes I know it’s a coaching game) and more options in franchise. It takes a certain person to even remotely enjoy this game. I guess I am one of those people, and I enjoy this game in spurts. But I am telling you right now. If you are even questioning this game, do not buy it on a whim. Rent it first and try it out, or get it used (there will be plenty of copies).

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Great concept that is fun at first, but gets old quickly.

Repetitive gameplay that is only for fanatics of the genre.

Great control over every aspect of the team, and a huge improvement over its predecessor.

8 out of 10